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Country lanes

The rural road has three cumulative criteria: it belongs to the communes, is assigned to the use of the public, and is not classified as communal way. It benefits from a particular legal regime.


What is the difference between a country lane and a logging road?

Country lanes or tracks are used mainly by farmers. They enable farmers to access the various parts of their farms. They are presumed to belong to the municipality until the opposite is proven. They must not be confused with farm roads and farm tracks which are presumed to belong to the local property owners who use them.


What is the difference between a country lane and a local road?

Local roads are part of the public domain held by public corporations and may not be disposed of.

If they are to be disposed of, they must first be declassified (a strict procedure which removes a road's status as a public highway). As a preliminary step, an official record must be made of the fact that the road in question is no longer used by the public.


Can a country lane be sold?

Because they are supposed to belong to the private domain of the commune, rural roads are alienable. The rural road should no longer be used for public use.

Their sale is a special procedure. If registered on a PDIPR, its maintenance or substitution is mandatory. A right of pre-emption is open to riparian owners, which right is not open to the SAFER.

The exchange of rural roads is prohibited.


What obligations does the municipality have?

The municipality has no obligation to maintain these lanes and tracks even if, in principle, it is responsible for their financing and maintenance.


What is the advantage of consulting a notaire?

The notaire will check the classification of the road, lane or way: is it a local road, a municipal lane or track or a farm road? The procedures to be followed in the event of a sale or exchange will depend upon the classification.

The notaire will be able to simplify matters and ensure that the regulations are complied with, in order to ensure that the deed of sale or exchange is fully effective. Often, it will be necessary to consult the deliberations of the municipal council.